Friday, September 28, 2012

Computer Error

I've hit a computer error!  The fan on my laptop is no longer working and has to be replaced.  Being that the laptop is a Lenovo x61t and this involves removing the motherboard and replacing the heatsink as well it not me who will be doing the repairs.  I have to take it to a shop. I've looked at three shops and haven't decided yet which one I will use, but it will be soon because I want my laptop back ASAP.

I am using my mom's laptop.  It's great, but it's not mine.  It doesn't have my stuff on it.  I'm not downloading any apps on it or anything, so I can't do much of my work.  I can read physical books and write reviews on them.  I can do most of my weekly memes.  Most of the stuff I usually do for my blog I can do.  Some I can't, because it is on my laptop.  A lot of the book review requests I can't get to at the moment, but I will get to as soon as my computer comes back in good shape!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Book News: Banned Book Week Sept. 30-Oct. 6

Banned Book Week starts this Sunday, September 30.  This year marks the 30th anniversary of the freedom to read.  Check out the ALA's page on how the 50 states are celebrating banned book week and how you can be a part of the Virtual Read Out.

The top ten challenged books from 2011:
1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series) by Lauren Myracle
2. The Color of Earth (series) by Kim Dong Hwa
3. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
4. My Mom's Having a Baby!  A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy by Dori Hillestad Butler
5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
6. Alice (series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
7. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
8.  What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
9. Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily Von Ziegesar
10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
For more information on these books and more banned book lists visit ALA's Frequently Challenged Books of the 21st Century Page.

I understand and accept not wanting to read a book because you don't like the language or it's against your religion.  These are valid reasons as to why I won't read certain books.  It's okay to not want to read a book.  What's not okay is censorship.  Because you don't agree with something you don't want others to read it and form their own opinions.  If censorship and book banning were okay then perfectly good pieces of literature would not be read.  Book banning forces an opinion on everyone.  I know there are badly written but popular books out there (I will not name them but I'm sure you can come up with a few).  I say don't read them.  But, I'm not going to take away your right.  If you want to read the stuff that's your prerogative. 

Check out the lists on ALA's page.  I'm almost certain readers will find at least one book they have read and enjoyed.  Book banning would cause us to miss out on great stuff.  I'm sure you hear the stories of groups wanting a certain book banned because they erroneously think it's harmful to the children, like the Harry Potter series, for instance.

Take this week to read a book that has been challenged.  Try one you haven't read before.

Book Review: Happily Ever After (Deep Haven #1) by Susan May Warren

Footsteps to Heaven has been her dream for the longest time, a dream she doesn't think she deserves, a dream she thinks God should not give her.

But, God does provide.  He provides a wonderful house on the lake in Deep Haven for Mona.  It's a wonderful old house she needs to remodel into her bookstore and coffee shop along with her best friend, Liza, who will be selling pottery.

He also provides a handyman by the name of Joe.

Joe comes with Rip the dog and a suitcase of secrets.  His reason for appearing in Deep Haven is to visit his brother who lives at The Garden, a place for people with mental disabilities.  If he tells Mona about his brother he fears he could lose her.

Joe holds another secret, the real secret to why he runs, why he never stays in one place for very long, why he may end up leaving.

Along with Joe's secret is the devastating discovery someone wants to destroy the bookstore before it opens.  Mona sees this as a sign from God that He doesn't want her to have her dream.   Mona has her own secret, one that makes her believe God could never forgive her or give her what she wants.

What secrets are Joe and Mona hiding?  Will Footsteps to Heaven fulfill Mona's dream?

I read this book for pure pleasure.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished

1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
     I love this series, but I've only read the first two.  I do want to finish the series, but I'm doing it        slowly checking the books out of the library.  I have a lot of books in my To Be Read pile that            I'm not in a hurry to get to the library so this series is put on hold.

2. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
    This series was offered free on netgalley to mark the final book being published.  I read the first        two.  I just could not get into it.  So, I haven't finished it.  I know they're popular and I know              they're good.  This series is just not for me.

3. The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin
    My favorite serial!  But, sadly, I have not read every book.  I got older so I started buying and         reading them less.  I haven't read the final in the original series.  I haven't read the later Super         Specials.  I haven't read most of the later Mysteries.  I've only read two of the Friends Forever         series.  I haven't read the final one when they graduate the 8th grade.  I do want to read it and         one day I will!

4. Restoration Series by Terri Blackstock
    Like the Percy Jackson series I'm reading this one slowly, checking each book out of the library.     There are only four and I've read the first three, so one more to go!  I can't wait to read it.  It'll         be a good one.

5. Home to Hickory Hollow by Beverly Lewis
    Technically, I haven't started it, but book #1 is sitting in my to read pile.  Book #2 is out.  I                haven't gotten it yet, though.  I will.

 6. Kauffman Amish Bakery by Amy Clipston
     With this series it's more like I haven't started it!  I've read the final two, but haven't read the            others.  I want to read them.  I do want to start from the beginning and know the whole story.

7. Uncommon Heroes by Dee Henderson
      One book left in this series and I'll be done!

8. Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins
     I remember when this series was all the rage.  My mom and her best friend read them all,                  hurrying to the bookstore to buy the latest book.  I didn't read them then.  My brother got me        the Left Behind PC game and it came with a paperback copy of the first book.  I read that.  It              was pretty good, but I haven't felt the urge to read the rest of them.  Maybe I will one day.  I            don't know.  If I feel like it.

9. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
    I read a few of these as a kid, but it's not until recently I really picked it up.  You can get them           online for free.  Check out  I've read Green Gables and Avonlea so far.  I'm               really enjoying them.  Reading them in order makes them much less confusing!

10. Little Women Series by Louisa May Alcott
      I read Little Men before I read Little Women.  My sixth grade Literature Arts teacher had both       copies on her bookshelf, but another girl picked up Little Women.  If that had been available I         would have read it, but it wasn't and Little Men was the only other thick book on the shelf.  The       thicker the  book the more I wanted to read it.  So I did.  Eventually, I did read Little Women.         I haven't read Little Men since.  In the States, Little Women is actually both Little Women and         Good Wives published together.  Now, I need to read Little Men in order and Jo Boy's.  And             there's Aunt Jo's Scrap Bag.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can playing along!  Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

Dr. Chandar's eyes went to a wall calendar and settled on the earlier part of the following week.

Kindle Loc. 602-603 The Baby Game by James A. Thomas

Book Review: Kicking Eternity by Ann Lee Miller

Set at a Christian summer camp, Kicking Eternity is the story of four young adult counselors, Raine, Drew, Cal, and Aly.

Raine is the main main character. It's really her story we read.  Her mission has always been to go to Africa. Obstacles stand in her way.  She needs to find God's true path for her and go where He wants her.

Drew, her closest friend, is still in love with his old girlfriend.  He believes it's God's will for the two to be together.  It's his mission to find out the truth about Sam and where his friendship with Raine fits in all this.

Cal is a brother to Jesse the camp director, which is how he got the job since he does not identify himself as Christian.  An artist, he falls for Raine and wants to be what she wants in a man.  Can he be true to himself and be what Raine wants?

Aly is good friends with Cal, but how far does this friendship go?  She's also roommates with Raine during summer camp, but finds the two are different.  Is Raine annoying or is there something deeper?  Does Aly want to find something deeper or keep to her boyfriend bouncing ways?

This is the summer for all four.  They are tempted and tested, growing to find who they really are and what really matters in life.

It's undoubtly Christian, but I felt it was too in-your-face.  It didn't feel quite as genuine as other Christian novels I've read.  Maybe I'm just being cynical.  I am too cynical for my own good sometimes.  Christians are to pray, I know, but it just felt they did it too much, like a "get out of jail free" card.  But, overall, it was a good young adult story.

I read this review request using the Kindle App on my laptop.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book News: Judy Blume's Breast Cancer

Judy Blume is a very popular young adult author.  If you have not read any of her work, I'm sure you've still heard of it, such titles as Are You There God?  It's Me Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and Freckle Juice.  Although I only own one book she wrote, SuperFudge, she was a favorite of mine.  I've read at least eleven of her books and I wouldn't mind reading all of them.  Anyway, this isn't about me or how many Judy Blumes I've read.  This is about Judy Blume.

Over the summer, the 74 year old author was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Check out her blog for full details.  I might have heard something about this then but pushed it aside in my memory so that it didn't stick. As Blume writes she was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma, a type of tumor found in the ducts of a gland.

We become attached to our favorite authors feeling like we know them better than we do.  I've never met her face to face, but I've read her work.  I feel some kind of attachment to her.  With aspirations of my own to become a published author I feel connected in that sense as well.  Does this make me sound crazy?

July she had a mastectomy.  It's detailed in her blog, I won't go there here.  You want to read about it, do check out her blog.  It's good to read it in her own words.  Check out the rest of the website while you're there!

Prayers and well wishes for her recovery!  It's been over a month, but the recovery process is not over yet!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review: One Pink Line by Dina Silver

It only takes one time to change your life forever.  It only takes one line to send a message.  It only takes one.

One pink line.  That's all Sydney wants to see.  One pink line.  It means everything is okay and life can go back to normal.  One pink line.  The answer to her prayers.

This is not the usual unexpected pregnancy here's the nine months story.  This is told from the dual perspective of the mother and child, from the mother meeting "the man of her dreams" and eventually ending up pregnant to the child finding out her dad is not her biological father.

The general theme of the novel is love, mostly in the comparisons of a mother's love for her child.  We see different types of mother/child relationships through Sydney and her mom; Kendra, Sydney's sister, and her mom; Grace and Sydney; and Grace's biological dad and his mom; and Sydney's husband and his mom as well as Sydney's relationship with her mother-in-law.

Pay attention to the chapter headings!  Sydney is the mother and Grace is the child.  At first I was confused. I thought the author forgot certain siblings or who she was writing about, but then I realized it was my own stupidity at not paying attention to who was narrating the chapter!

I read this as a review request from using Adobe Digital on my laptop.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Top Ten Tuesday

Yes, I've decided to join Top Ten Tuesday.  I've seen this on many blogs and it seems interesting to me.  I hope you enjoy my lists!

Top Ten Bookish People You Want To Meet (Authors, Bloggers, etc.) 
This would be anyone related to books, obviously.  It doesn't say anything about them being alive, so I'm going to with the dead and the living.

1. Ann M. Martin -- my favorite author growing up.  I was and still am a huge Baby-Sitter Club fan.  I would love to meet her just to talk.  She seems like a cool person.  

2. Louisa May Alcott -- She's dead so any chance of meeting her will have to be in the afterlife, but I would love to tell her how much I enjoy her work and not just Little Women, but other writings like Little Men and Moods.

3. All my buddies at The Leaky Cauldron -- This is a group of more than one person, but I'm combining them as one for the list.  I am a Gallery Guru for Leaky, meaning I upload images to the Image Galleries as well as moderate fanart.  There have been plenty of chances to meet these wonderful people with Harry Potter movie premieres, book signings, and the three LeakyCons, but I have not been able to afford travel to any of that, so I have not met anyone yet.  I hope to one day make it to a LeakyCon (next year there are two, but one is in Washington and the other in England, not exactly places in my budget).

4. Meg -- I'm not giving out her full name for privacy reasons!  It's her name not mine so I don't think I have the right to do so.  Yes, it's a friendship forged via Harry Potter, but it was different.  We met because we're both fanfic writers and I was her Beta.  I have to be honest, I wasn't a very good Beta. But, I really enjoyed her.  Our contact with each other stopped due to her going on a year long mission trip.

5. My other Harry Potter buddies -- People I have forged friendships with on the internet based around this series.  There are a few special names out there. We became buddies due to our shared interest in a series, but our friendship has grown.  I think it would be cool to meet these people in person.  I trust that they're not weirdos looking to rape me!  Not everyone person on the internet is who they say they are, but I trust.  This isn't a huge group so it's not like I just let anyone in.

6. Inspired Kathy at I Am a Reader Not a Writer -- I want her to tell me all her secrets to book blogging! ;)

7. My readers -- Yes, I would love to meet the people who take the time to read my blog.  Thank you!

OK, I know this is a top ten and I really want to get all ten spaces filled for this being my first one, but I can only come up with seven spaces.  I guess I could consider #3 taking up four spaces, but it is more than four people.  I could name three individually, but I can't decide who gets named and who doesn't!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can playing along!  Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Still, Joe's words stung.  Not because he wasn't right but because they would never, ever be for her.  Why would the Almighty grant even one, let alone three dreams for a woman who'd killed someone she loved?
P. 138 Happily Ever After by Susan May Warren
OK, so that's three lines.  I couldn't omit the first line and the whole purpose for picking this teaser was in the last line, so, you get all three.  You could think of it as just two with the first two sentences really one separated by a period.  Yeah.  OK.  Whatever.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Book Review: Surrender Bay by Denise Hunter

Samantha Owens had a rough childhood showing her that love is not worth anything.  Everyone she ever loved left her.  Her dad died when she was young.  Her mom remarried and eventually ran away.  Her stepfather was abusive.  Her best friend, Landon Reed, whom she thought she was inseperable with graduated high school and left for college.  The only thing her stepfather ever gave Sam was a piece of advice not to love for the ones we love leave.  She kept this close to her heart, closer than anything else.

Years later, after she ran away from the Nantucket island, she returned with one mission in mind: get her stepfather's house sold. He died and left her the house.  I'm not sure if he left it to her or it just ended up in her care due to being somewhat related to him, but she did end up with the house full of painful memories.

Sam's back with her own secrets, secrets she thought she could keep forever from the one man who meant more than anything to her.  She planned on never returning to Nantucket again, but does so to get the money that will come from selling the house.  She desperately needs it for she is a single mother living on a maid's wages in Boston.

Denise Hunter wrote this novel with the Bible verse Zephaniah 3:17 on her heart.
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
This story represents God's love for us.  It is never-ending, unconditional, and there is nothing we can do to take it away.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book News: National Libray Card Sign-Up Month

Yes, we are already 13 days into this month, but I just recently found out that it is National Library Card Sign-Up Month.

A library card is a magical wand.  It can take you places you've never been.  It can help you make new friends.  It's a pass into an unknown world.

I think everyone should have a library card. The library is a place where people can do so many things, not all need a library card. My dads picks up tax forms at the library. I check out books I want to read but do not care to own. Students do research and/or study at the library. I have friends who use the computers and internet at the library. Kids can attend events like book readings. The library is available for so much.

I remember my first library card.  I checked every BSC book the library had (not at one time).  My first trip to the library I saw a girl checking out BSC books and just about flipped my lid.  I could read more of these books whenever I wanted?!  I did.  There were other books I could read as well.  I was not limited to the books I had on my bookshelf.  I did read.  I read a lot.  I always checked out books at school (two at a time), but the public library was something else.  For one thing, their selection was bigger.

In college, I used the library a lot.  I used the school library for research and studying, of course, but the public library was my place.  I was an English major and we had to read a lot of literary books.  Instead of buying all of them, I was able to check them out of the library.  The library saved me money!

Music, movies, and audio books can be checked out of the library as well.  The selection is nothing like a movie rental store, but is something.  I've checked out movies for research and for enjoyment.  I haven't checked out any music or audio books, but I know people who have.  Audio books can be expensive, but one may not have time to actually read the book.  Giving someone the opportunity to listen to it, which is beneficial for people with vision problems, is great.

I get that some people don't like libraries because they spread germs.  That is true.  The book you've been reading has been handled by many people.  Be careful.  Wash your hands.  Don't eat while reading that book.  For me, the pros of a library book outweigh this negative.

My local library is small, but it is part of the interstate library system, meaning if another libary in the state's system has the book it will be sent to my library for me to read.  If you think your library is too small check to see if they're in something like this.

 If you don't have a library card look into getting one.

Book Review: Boxcar Children Beginning by Patricia MacLachlan

Prequels seem to be all the rage now-a-days.  The Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley, Star Wars, and now The Boxcar Children.

Patricia MacLachlan, famous for writing the 1986 Newbery Award Winner Sarah, Plain and Tall, is not the original author of the series.  That title goes to Gertrude Chandler Warner who is sadly not with us any longer.  She wrote the original 19 books for the series from The Boxcar Children to Benny Uncovers a Mystery.  The 1990s saw a resurgence of the series with new books written by other authors with the series being credited as being created by Gertrude Chandler Warner.

The story is set before the Alden children run away, the opening of The Boxcar Children.  They live with their parents on Fair Meadow Farm.  A happy bunch they are, loving to do chores and just be with each other.  Hard times are upon them as it is the beginning of the Great Depression.  That's what I surmise from the goings-on in the book.

Due to the start of the Depression, a family of four has to leave their home behind to live with relatives.  On the way their car breaks down near Fair Meadow Farm.  They stay with the Aldens until they can get the car fixed.  In those days it was no easy or quick task.  The two kids go to school with the four Alden children and become fast friends, especially Benny with their dog, Joe.

Maybe it's because I'm older and have not read the books in a long time but the children felt younger to me.  It's right before the beginning of the first book in the series, so they really aren't much younger.  I'm older, I know that, and the books are intended for a young audience (2nd-6th grade).  That could very well be it.

MacLachlan does her best to infuse everything from the original series that we know about our favorite characters into this story.  Sometimes it feels a bit forced like the ending, but overall it is a nice story.  If you were a fan as a child I believe you will enjoy this look back at how life was for the Aldens before they  became orphans.

I read this book via Adobe Digital on my laptop as a review for  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can playing along!  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
The slowest three minutes of my life were followed by the passing of two hours in the blink of an eye.  I sat on the floor, catatonic in front of my books until midnight when I took my phone off the book and went to bed.
P. 13 One Pink Line by Dina Silver

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Review: Perfectly Unique by Annie F. Downs

Everyone, ok, well, most everyone has body issues.  It's a love/hate relationship.  Most of the time it's hate.  Former elementary school teacher Annie F. Downs takes teen girls on a ride exploring their bodies, showing them how to love God's creation and use it to worship Him.

Downs pours herself into the book relating life stories to each message she wants to get across.  This personal touch enables the message to become real and tangible, easier to grasp.  She's dealt with these issues herself and has utilized the advice on the pages.  She's not cold and standoffish.  She's right there struggling with the reader.

Her writing style is like a casual conversation.  She's talking to the reader as she's writing and I mean literally as she's writing.  She uses events that have just a few seconds ago taken place in her world to illustrate the ideas she is writing about.  The casualness of the book helps the reader to want to read it.  It's not a struggle or bore to get through.

Including in book are recipes for food Downs mentions.  Unexpected, but I think it's a good idea.  She talks about puppy chow (not the dog food!) and an onion soup that readers may want to try them.

Our body is a gift from God and Annie Downs reminds us that we need to use our gift for God.

I read this book using the Adobe Digital program on my laptop.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book News: E-book Price Fixing

E-books are all the rage nowadays.  Why hold a tangible paperback or hardback book in your hands when you can feel the cold smoothness of an e-reader? An e-book can hold thousands of books taking up the same or smaller space than a tangible book.

One pro for ebooks was supposed to be price.  There are many e-books that are free or less than $2.  That's pretty awesome.  But, for many, especially the popular titles, the price difference is not there.  Either it's just a couple bucks or the same price as the tangible, hold in your hands, with actual paper book.  It costs the publishers much less to print and sell e-books so why cost readers the same?  Because they can?  Is that a valid reason?

I don't have an actual ereader, but I do have programs downloaded on my computer: Kindle and Adobe Digital.  I totally see the benefit in having these programs.  There are so many more books I have read because of this.  Being able to download a book in a few minutes is super easy, cool, nice, all that. But, when the book costs as much or more than I can pay for a paperback copy why would I download?  Because it takes up less space on my shelf?  What if I like having that space filled?

I recently came across a piece of news that I think is of interest to anyone who reads, writes, and/or publishes e-books.

US prosecutors announced Thursday that the top three US publishing houses have inked a $69 million deal to close the book on charges that they schemed to fix prices of digital titles.  Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, and Simon & Schuster Inc. have agreed to compensate ebook buyers to resolve antitrust claims, according to a joint statement by 55 attorneys general.
Publishers ink $69 mln deal in ebook price-fixing case
What does this mean?

The settlement deal, which requires court approval, calls for Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster to compensate people who bought ebooks from April 2010 to May 21, 2012 priced on an "agency" model. 
The publishing houses have also agreed to terminate existing agreements with retailers such as Amazn and Barnes & Noble, freeing them to cut ebook prices.
Publishers ink $69 mln deal in ebook price-fixing case
Along with that comes this:
A case against Apple and "non-settling" publishers Penguin and Macmillan is pending in US district court in New York, according to [Connecticut Attorney General George] Jepsen.  The US lawsuit said the publishers conspired with Apple to end the longstandin "wholesale model" in which ebooks were sold to retailers, which had the power to set their own prices. 
They replaced this with a so-called "agency model" where publishers would set prices charged by retailers for the ebooks.  Under the arrangement, Apple was guaranteed a 30 percent commission on each ebook sold. 
Prior to the introduction of Apple's iPad, online retail giant Amazon sold electronic versions of many new best sellers for $9.99.  After the agency model was adopted, the prices rose to $12.99 and higher, the suit said, and price competition among retailers was "unlawfully eliminated."
Publishers ink $69 mln deal in ebook price-fixing case
I'm still trying to make sense of all this.  I'm not naive to think we're going to be seeing checks in the mail, although one link I found claims otherwise.  I know that in deals like this if the consumer sees any money it's nothing more than pennies.  It's not about that.  I don't care about that.  I want to see the price of e-books lowered.  They should most definitely cost less than a hard copy of a book.

Some people are not happy with this decision, but we'll talk about that at another time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Tour: The Judge by Randy Singer

Welcome to the fifth stop on The Judge Book Tour!

Judge Oliver Finney has signed up for a reality show.  This show, Faith on Trial, pits followers of the world's major religions against each other in an attempt for the creator to find that one true religion.  While on the remote island, Finney uncovers a deadly agenda of the creators.  Using his monitored internet access he sends coded messages to his law clerk, Nikki Moreno.  She's not good with cryptology so she requests the aid of a teenage crypto-geek.  Together, they must uncover the clues using an apologetics book written by Finney before the end of taping.

Previously published as The Cross-Examination of Oliver Finney.

Judge Oliver Finney defends his faith on national TV by appearing on a reality show.  I don't feel appearing on such a reality show is as much defending my faith as it is giving them a chance to mock it.  As I read this book I can't help but think of how production would edit film to make a joke of Finney. The book does not state that happens, but it is a thought that constantly ran through my mind.  They already gave Finney a steep hill to climb when it came to public voting.
"Remember", Judge Javitts said, "the results are not based on the total number of votes but on the number of converts, determined by the extent to which the contestants exceed their baseline percentages."
P. 158
Judge Finney's percentage was 75%.  He had to receive 76% of the vote to get credit for just 1%.
There are many things I would do.  Heck, I would do anything to defend Christianity, but appearing on a reality show like this, it doesn't seem like I would be defending my faith.  However, I do give credit to Oliver Finney for willing to do so.  Throughout the novel he does a great job showing how much Christianity means to him.  It's not something he does for show or for this show.  It's real to him.

Engrossed in this book doesn't describe it.  I didn't notice time passing as I read the pages. Each character is unique.  They have their own religion or their own take on religion as well as differing personalities.  With each flip of the page, the mystery and the adventure grew.  Singer wrote a story that feels like it could happen in today's world.

For more information on the author and/or this book visit

I read this as a review request from the Tyndale Blog Network.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can playing along!  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
She had it all figured out.  He'd offer to watch Caden himself except he wasn't about to enable the date.
P. 87 Surrender Bay by Denise Hunter